Taste dishes from some of Cincinnati’s best restaurants TODAY

For the fourth consecutive year, the USA Today Wine and Food Event series is rolling out the Wine & Food Experience tour. Largely due to Cincinnati’s recent renaissance as a “foodie town,” the 2018 tour, which will also stop in Chicago, New York, and Las Vegas, will open in Cincinnati on Saturday for the first time.

A marriage of local cuisine and celebrity chefs, here’s what you will find at the Wine & Food Experience.

Bites and Spirits

Nearly 30 local restaurants will have booths at the Experience, including such familiar names as Jeff Ruby, We Olive Wine Bar, Nicholson’s and Via Vite. The dishes will run from the gamut from American to international to fusion, including Caribbean BBQ, pork tonnato, kobe sliders, smoked salmon, a variation on surf and turf, mac and cheese, pulled pork sliders, and many others.

You can wash it all down with either domestic and international wines from St. Michelle, Gallo, Terlato, Biltmore, Wente, and Bordeaux, or craft beer from Great Lakes, Elysian, Breckinridge, and Stella Artois.

Graham Elliott, Sommeliers, and Local Chefs

Graham Elliott, the current host of “Top Chef” and former judge and host of “MasterChef” and “MasterChef Junior,” will participate in a meet-and-greet at 1 p.m. for Chef’s Package ticketholders. He will then demonstrate how to make a “Cincy-inspired chili burger.”

Two local chefs will follow up with cooking demos of their own. Julie Francis, chef for Nectar Personal Chef Services, will prepare oyster mushroom and garlic scape sauté with tempeh, mustard, and dill at 2:30 p.m. Cristian Pietoso, chef of Via Vite Restaurant, will prepare a signature Bolognese sauce with fresh Tagliatelle at 3:30 p.m.

Mary Horn, advanced sommelier and vice president of Fine Wine Education for Heidelberg (the distributor for all of the event’s featured wines), will give talks on sparkling wines at 1:15 p.m. and rosé wines at 2:15 p.m. Michelle Krumpelman, a regional sales manager for Biltmore Wines, will contrast North Carolina and California wines at 2:15 p.m.

The Martha Stewart Experience

Once inside this tented entrance, Martha Stewart fans will find themselves immersed in Martha products, including her QVC line, the interactive “Celebrations” line from Michael’s, a “utensil chandelier,” kitchen gear, books, and more.

Although Martha herself does attend several Wine & Food Experience events to take selfies with fans, she will not be present for the Cincinnati event.

Ticket Options

There are several ways to enjoy the Wine & Food Experience. The $85 Grand Tasting ticket gains you access to all of the food and wine, the wine talks, and the cooking demos. The $120 VIP option adds private tastings, early entry, and a VIP lounge and restrooms. Finally, the $180 Chef’s Package with Graham Elliott adds the meet-and-greet and book signing with Elliott.


How to go

What: The Wine & Food Experience

Where: Yeatman’s Cove, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati

When: June 16, 1-4 p.m.

Cost: $85-$180

More info: wineandfood.cincinnati.com

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